A wild turkey named Pinky, who has roamed around with an arrow lodged in his back for more than six weeks, was captured Friday night near Castro Valley in unincorporated Alameda County during a second attempt by rescuers seeking to treat the injured bird.
Pinky, a young male who lives in Don Castro Regional Park, was shot with an arrow some time before Thanksgiving. He often visits the home of a couple for food in the Castro Valley area adjacent to the park, but since Pinky can fly, area wildlife specialists had been unable to restrain him and remove the arrow.
Rebecca Dmytryk, who operates rescue nonprofit WildRescue with her husband Duane Titus, said they were unable to put a net over the turkey because of the arrow sticking out of his back. Wild turkeys like Pinky "fly extremely well," she added.
After being contacted by the family that feeds Pinky, the Monterey couple spent the past two weeks devising an appropriate trap. Dmytryk and Titus set up an enclosure of vinyl fencing and chicken wire, she said.
Pinky wandered into the enclosure along with two female turkeys Thursday, but all three managed to escape after another bird landed on top of the netting and broke it, Dmytryk said.
WildRescue planned to try capturing Pinky again, but thought the turkey would need more time to feel comfortable entering the trap again.
"I guess they're not as smart as we thought," said Dmytryk, who explained that Pinky and a younger male turkey wandered into the trap after food was placed inside today.
Pinky was expected to be placed in a modified plastic dog crate for a trip to the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Cordelia.
A veterinary team will likely evaluate Pinky Saturday.
Dmytryk said shooting Pinky with an arrow might have been a legal act carried out during turkey hunting season on private land. Hunting is not allowed in Don Castro Regional Park.
"These people and the bird went without help for weeks," she said of Pinky and the residents who feed him. "This shouldn't have happened. It's one of the most pervasive problems injured wildlife and people who find them face."
Dmytryk said anyone in need of wildlife assistance can contact (866) WILD-911.